President Obama isn't faring too well at converting enemies to friends, but he does seem to have a talent for turning friends into enemies. The latest spectacle is the all-too-public and counterproductive war of words between the White House and our putative ally, Afghan President Hamid Karzai. The only winner so far in this spat is the Taliban.Read the whole thing.
The Obama Administration seems to have had it out for Mr. Karzai from the day it took office, amid multiple reports based on obvious U.S. leaks that Vice President Joe Biden or some other official had told the Afghan leader to shape up.
The tension escalated after Mr. Karzai's tainted but ultimately recognized re-election victory last year, and it reached the name-calling stage late last month when President Obama met Mr. Karzai on a trip to Kabul and the White House let the world know that the American had lectured the Afghan about his governing obligations.
The public rebuke was a major loss of face for Mr. Karzai, who later returned fire at the U.S., reportedly even saying at a private meeting that if the Americans kept it up, he might join the Taliban. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs kept up the schoolyard taunts yesterday by suggesting that Mr. Obama might not meet with Mr. Karzai as scheduled in Washington on May 12.
Yeah, those personal rebukes and general disdain for those smaller countries that are supposed to be pushovers--it just doesn't seem to be going very well. Israel may find it more in its interest to deal with Russia instead.
With Russia making inroads with Saudi Arabia, Libya, Iran and our side of the world as well--the US may soon learn what if felt like to be Russia sitting on the sidelines and watching. Of course, Obama may consider that a good thing.
At this point, our former allies would probably agree.
Technorati Tag: Obama and Russia.